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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    January 18, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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an invitation last spring when the university of kentucky men's basketball team was honored at the white house. newly elected members of the congress, only 27 of the newly-elected house members showed up. and more recently. no elected republicans elected a white house screening of "lincoln" last month. had they all attended, they would have joined not only nancy prksz pelosi and harry reid but tommy lee jones. as tip o'neil said, love the sinner, hate the sin. we need to get back to a time when president reagan would invite the speaker, tip o'neil. there's no shortage of parties
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planned around inauguration 2013. here's hoping that it sill it spills over to the next four years. both sides become more social, more civil and, hence, more productive. thanks for being with us. politics nation with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, michael. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, i'll second that. we're just three days away from history. president obama will be sworn in for the second time on the steps of the capital. and he looks pretty happy about it. take a look at his official second term portrait released today. that's a man who won a decisive election. who's proud of his accomplishment. yes, he's older than the man who appeared in that 2009 picture. but with his new grey hairs comes real progress. he inherited a country on the verge of economic collapse.
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and he responded by signing a sweeping stimulus. the action was just beginning while the country was reeling from the abuses of wall street, he passed the far reaching financial reform in history. and then a defining moment. despite criticism, he decided to give auto makers a loan. a loan that would pay huge dividends. this picture would go down in the annals of american history. the president's gutsy call to carry out the bin laden mission that changed the world forever. >> tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al-qaida. >> the people of libya are liberated from kadhafi's
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leadership. our commander in chief has brought the last troops out of iraq for filling a promise we long to hear. >> a, i can say that our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. >> home from iraq. and given a deadline for a wi withdrawal from afghanistan. he made sure that if you're willing to fight for this country, you should be allowed to serve openly in our military. >> we are not a nation that says don't ask, don't tell. we are a nation that says out of many, we are one. we are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. >> we are a nation that believes
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all men are created equal. and that fight for equality has defined his presidency. he expanded the federal hate crimes law. he became the first president to publically support gay marriage. on women's rights, the first bill he signed into law, was the fair pay act. he's appointed two women to the supreme court. on issue after issue, this president has fought for the average american. approving pel grants for higher education and he fought for speedy compensation for victims of the gulf oil spill and for the victims of this economy. extending long term unemployment benefits, bringing about tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class. he's had the american's people's
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interest at heart. and we were reminded of that again today. >> if there is a step that we can take that will save even one child from what happened in newtown, we should take that step. >> that was earlier this week. in signing those executive actions on gun control, we were reminded that president obama doesn't shy away from a fight, no matter how difficult it may with. and there's no wonder, after all, this is a man who's accomplished health care reform a century in the making. >> we are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right. we have now just enshrined, as soon as i sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care. >> our president did all of that while facing a party whose number one goal was to defeat him with billionaires spending mountains of money against him.
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with being called a food stamp president. with people questioning the country of his birth. he simply got it done. today, we got a sign that the gop might have finally learned his lesson. maybe they've seen the same president that i do. someone who's fought for the american people for four years and who won't take no for an answer in his second term. i don't know about you, but i'm kind of looking forward to part two. joining me now, melissa harris perry, host of "the melissa harry perry" show. thanks for joining me tonight.
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>> melissa, that aegs a long wlis of accomplishments. as we end the first term, we need the list because the critics don't get a credit for average americans, working class, middle class. poor, if you're black, if you're latino, women, gays, across the board. concrete things, not rhetoric. concrete things. concrete things. now, there's a set of critics who were just saying as you pointed out with the gop, on the other side of the aisle that we just want to defeat the president. and those aren't really criti e critiques to be taken seriously. part of the problem is it's not
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sufficiently radical or revolutionary in a way that makes change. but we have always been a country that moves incrementally towards change. when you look at the long list that you have provided, you realize how not incremental this is. how much enormous progress this has been. we are celebrating the anniversary of the birth of martin luther king and, therefore, really celebrating the work of martin luther king, jr. i just want to remind people that he wrote the text after the passage of the '64 civil rights act. the two acts that we think within the civil rights agenda, at that moment, king, himself, only felt that he was half there. maybe a third of the way to wra wra
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wards the goal. >> there's no question about that, e.j. but when you look at the fact that there was record numbers of turn outs of voters. the people got it. a lot of people had been out cast. and a lot of people that never had any concrete addressing of their needs. when you deal with unploimt insurance and you deal with pell grants. these are both on the right and the left. but it meant a lot to people which is why people made sure they reelected him, e.j. >> there are two things, one is just as you say, the turnout was extraordinary. and you had a real test in this solution. yes, president obama was well-funded, but you had enormous sums on the other side trying to beat him. in democracy, showing no matter how poor you are, your vote
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counts equally with a wealthy guy down the streelt. and the one thing that can beat big money is numbers. people did it spontaneously because they were fighting voter suppression. something else happened which i think president obama learned some things as hi term went on. i think after the debt ceiling fiasco of the summer of 2011, he learned he wasn't able to get anything done unless he was willing to go out there and fight against first principles by the other side. i was disheartened by what he proposed. but it was a real change from before. in the past, he often tried to compromise in advance and tried to calculate what might i get through congress. this time, and i think it may be a model for the next four years, he said, look, this is what i want. this is the full program. now, let's talk about it and see what we can get passed.
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and i think that has a lot more po ten rnl to get more stuff done. >> no doubt about it. when you look that the president has announced it is a nonprofit. donations will be disclosed, it will be run by a small inner circle of campaign advisors and give our allies a way to rally behind an agenda. when you look at that, you can tell, melissa, it is interesting to me that some of my friends on the lecht, the left trying to say more radical. i mean, you usually support people that you always supported if they're fulfilling the things they said they were going to do. when you look at the issues that they raised, that the president has raised, that is what he said he was going to do. he never told us he was going to
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do a lot of things that he's being painted without doing. you should listen before you endorse somebody. >> like me make one point about the nonprofit. there are two potentially very fascinating things about that. >> i know you started with smiling obama with the greyer hair that just always comes with the presidency. they're going down a very long second act. and so they're already beginning to think about how to take the political brand that is obama. yes, there's strategy and yes, there's politics in office here. but there's a brand here. and how to turn that brand which is organizing for america but always has the obama undernooet it, turn it to something that is sustainable. there have been very few
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political leaders in the democratic party who have worked over the course of the past four decades to take something that is sustainable and grow it. we've seen it on the right. but to see this happening on the left is incredibly important. it's the fact that michelle obama, the first lady, was the voice of presenting it? that makes me very excited. it makes me wonder if we're going to see a very engaged first lady in the politics. >> i any you're right. you know what makes me excited, melissa and e.j.? melissa says a man is still very young. thanks for joining us. have a great weekend to boet of you. >> and you, too. >> and catch melissa's show, weekends at 10:00 eastern time, 10:00 a.m. here on msnbc. coming up, republicans new
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old call of states rights. we'll talk with a lawmaker who's pushing a bill that claims he would make it illegal to enforce federal gun laws. plus, back to school, americans are taking a class on how to talk to women and minorities. well, folks, professor sharpton has a few tips for them. you definitely want to stick around. and the reverend dr. martin luther king as you've never heard him. the great civil rights leader talking about his work, his fears and his sacrifices in the struggle. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] house rule number 46.
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have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. the president's new white house portrait. joy says i love his smile, he looks so confident. we decided to do a poll to see which portrait our fans pref preferred. his first or his new one. and the portrait won in a landslide was the new portrait. 62% of fans liked this one the best. 6% preferred the old one. and 30% like them about the same. we want to hear from you. come to our facebook page and cast your vote. please head over to facebook and
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search "politics nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after this show ends.
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republicans are resorting to an old argument to fight a new battle. trying states' rights as they attack president obama on gun control. law mamakers in six states have proposed a bill to make it illegal for the president to introduce his bill. joining me now is tennessee
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state representative joe caux who introduced a bill making it illegal to enforce any potential ban on assault weapons. he said, and i'm quoting, it's our attempt to push back on the federal government's ever-increasing encroachment. not only on our personal liberties, but on our state sovereignty. >> reverend sharpton, i'm glad to be here. >> now, let me ask you, do you really think your state bill will trump federal law? >> well, that's part of the point. what we're trying to illustrate here is that the federal government has, systematically, over the years, been on full assault of the second amendment. when you assault the second amend. it's not just the second amendment, you assault the entire bill of rights. that's the broader point that we're trying to draw here is that for years, the bill of rights have been under attack
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from the federal government for no other reason than power and control. >> now, let me ask you a question. where in the second amendment does it give you the right to do the things that the president announced the other day were executive orders. the president said -- i was there -- that he supports the second amendment. he was not talking about guns. he's talking about magazines that shoot a hundred rounds. the second amendment doesn't give you that right? >> the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed, reverend sharpton. you know that, if not better than i do. >> so you're saying the right to bear any arms they choose? >> what i'm saying is that the second amendment was crafted by our founding fathers just like the other nine amendments. it was in response to king george and tyranny, which is why they declared their independence
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and why they wrote this constitution. our founding document is the bill of rights. and all of those bill of rights, all ten amendments are predic e predicated on the notion of the declaration of independence that we're endowed by our creator. >> now, where in there does it say you can bear whatever arms you want? why can't i have a hand grenade? why can't i have rockets? if you're going to say arms and anyone can define what that means, then why can't i have what i want? a nuclear weapon under my bed. >> i think you're drawing an inaccurate conclusion to what we're saying. it would be the same as walking into a theater and saying fire. the freedom of speech doesn't give you authority to do that. >> why? isn't that tyranny? >> no, it's not tyranny. >> oh, so you mean that all of these rights are not unlimited. >> no, nobody said unlimited.
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you said that. >> i know. i'm trying to give you an explanation. the bill of rooigts were constructco constructed for maintaining civil rights. everything is predicated on the notion of personal responsibility and the sovereignty of the states, which is why we had the tenth amendment. so any assault is an assault on all of the amendments in the bill of rights. so what we're saying is that this government's assault on the second amendment is inappropriate and it's overreaching. >> but if you agree, state representative carr, that you have to have limitations, you regulate it, i guess the real question is who regulates it? the federal government or the state government? and we've had that argument over segregation. we even had it over slavery.
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who decides where the rights end. and you're saying, basically, the states should have that right. >> well, you make a very important point: and i would concede that martin luther king even understood this. so i would ask you, reverend sharpton, do the states, then, have the same obligation when the federal government usurps the authority of the congress and the states to divest them of their sovereignty. >> i'm glad you asked that question. because what martin luther king did was he engaged in civil d o disobedience so the federal government could protect them from state laws. you're saying in your bill, you should read it, that you want to have the right to arrest the federal government for enacting their own laws. dr. king didn't arrest the state
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people, he was arrested by them. you're saying the feds are illegal and we want the right to arrest them. that is unking-like. >> you're sounding a little bit like piers morgan screaming at me. >> oh, well, let me say it more silently. you're sounding unking-life. >> the point i'm trying to make is understood, clearly, that the state and the federal government and the ever-increasing authority. and that was unnecessary. >> and that's why you protested states' rights. and what we're saying is the states have a sovereign role here. and the sovereign role is this. if the president of the united states doesn't get it to empower
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himself with the second amendment says. the states have a role. >> martin luther king said that he was protesting in his famous speech of 50 years ago that concluded with i have a dream. that he was protesting to governors whose lips were drifting with the words of nullification. i'm glad you're using king as if model because it is the antithesis for what you're saying. let me show you what gov nor wallace said. >> unwelcomed, unwanted and forcing seclusion upon the campus of the university of alabama to live and offer a rightful example. >> so the governor said the soverei sovereignty of this state. >> and reverend sharpton, those were misapplications of what we're talking ab.
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you're drawing parallel and say don't exist. >> how is it different? >> if you'll let me explain, i'll tell you. >> we completely objected the notion of what governor wallace has said at that time. what i am telling you is that you're using sovereignty of the state. >> all you have to do is read the bill of rights and it talkings about the sovereign fi of the states. and more importantly, we all know that washington is broken, horrible by broken. and here we have a president leveraging little children on stage for no other reason nan to gin up fear to say we're going to come and take the second amendmented. >> i think you said he was going to take your assault weapons an
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your magazine. the federal government does have the authority over states and i think that the sovereignty of the states is something that many of us faugt and continue to fight. we can agree to disagree. thank you for vag me on, representative joe carr. thank you for your time, we'll be right back. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story.
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today, house republicans are wrapping up their big, soul-searching party retreat in virginia. what an educational speernexper it's been for the gop. on day one, they got advice on how to make their brand from the ceo of domino's pizza. which way will they go? only time will tell. on day two, they got advise on winning from the man who lost to president obama, paul ryan. and, today, a seminar titled a discussion on successful communication with minorities and women. and who did they recruit to teach those house republicans all about the world of minorities and women?
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three white men. i'm serious. half of the panel on how to talk to women and minorities was made up of white men. you can't make this stuff up. these republicans still don't know how to talk to women? seriously? it's the gop's theme song. "it's raining men. come on, don't be such a wall flou ere, speaker boehner. don't be afraid. just go out and give it a shot. go out and ask for a dance. listen, folks, tips on how to talk to women and minorities aren't going to do any good if they don't change their policies. they can't just talk the talk,
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they're going to have to walk the walk. and until republicans keep changing their policies, they'll keep striking out. joining me now is political columnist for "the washington post." >> thank you, reverend. margie, do republicans think they can learn to sweet talk women and minorities to win their support? >> they certainly have a lot of ground to make up. they tried this strategy there, talk about rape a lot, it was clearly unsuccessful. he had huge losses with men-only voters. really bring some women to the table. there are a lot of great, ways. we can be for taxes, we can be
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for less spending and at the same time, not sound hostile to women and minority voters vj. >> dana, when you look at the exit polling from november's election, republicans lost african americans by 87 points. lost hispanics by 44 points. if you were in williamsburg, how would you turn this around? >> here's what i wouldn't have done, reverend al. they had this session on reaching out to minorities and they held it in a room named for slave plantation which the only thing better than that would be if they have the breakout sessions after that and all retired to lunch in the bull connor ballroom. it is the whole concept is if
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they'll just change the message a little bit. it's not a matter of dressing it up and putting pretty colors and a bow on it. it's the policy that's gotten them into trouble, particularly in regards to immigration and latinos. >> it's not a matter of dressing it up. it's a matter of what the policies are. >> now, you see, margie, even the conservative women are speaking out against their party. most women on the panel express exasperation that the republican
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party was failing to each out to women. they seemed to be in agreement that the problem was more than just a few bad lemons who had ruined things for everyone else. that's interesting. the policies. >> right, absolute ri. i work in this business and other women i know that are in this business, whether you're democrat. you can tell when you're in a room of people who really don't understand women. it's not sitly a check list. >> and by having lukewarm language about women just a week after you had, yet, another republican talk about rape in this incredibly offensive way.
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i mean, they really, you know, this couldn't have come a moment too soon. they are really, really struggling. and i don't think that one session is really enough. >> the republicans have now backed down and extending three months. they blinked. what happened, dana? >> there is a whole lot of strength in this republican house majority for digging in on the debt and having a real fieblgt. we just may be able to relax for a couple months. >> why the delay?
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it was probably a dumb fight to pick in the first place. there are all other kinds of opportunities there. there are all kinds of opportunities for them to gum up the works and i think you can count on that happening. >> margie, do you think in the three-month delay, they're going to try to turn and put public opinion their way? >> h is another situation where you have people not reading fub lick opinion well at all. most americans want to see president and congress come to the table and work together. and you had republicans a few days ago saying shutting down the government is something we've got to get out of our
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system, as if it's bad food poisoning and showing voters that we're fighting. you know what we want? we want more fighting. that is just the opposite lesson to learn from this election. >> dana, as people are heading into washington this weekend for the election, we're hearing that it may not -- i mean for the inauguration. there seems to be a building up of excitement again. >> well, you can see everything getting prepared. the reviewing stanza and the bleachers. there are people coming to town, but you cannot compare this to four years ago. americans are not as optimist k as they had been. but, look, we can still throw a pretty good party in this town. >> dana and margie, nanks for your time this evening. >> thank you. >> ahead, it's been a long, strange four years.
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we'll tell you why all the hot air from the right might have sent president obama up, up and up. and a previously released video passionately speaks about being sworn in using his body. you hear them both ahead. you're watching "politics nation" only on msnbc. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my...
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four years ago, we witnessed history. this was the scene, president obama became the 44th president of the united states. as he was dancing at an inaugural ball, republicans were
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just across town at a fancy restaurant plotting on how to destroy his presidency. part of the scheme was to attack the president on the air waves. it started from day one and it's been ugly. >> barack obama does not have his hand on the bible. i still don't know what the man is going to do. >> deep-seeded hatred for white people. >> in obama's america, the white kids get beat up with the black kids cheering, yeah, right on. >> it easter rising to the terrorists. >> amnesty for illegal aliens via like a hitler-like executive order. >> radical, left-wing marxism, socialism, fascism, whatever you want to call it! if you are president of the united states, you have to be born in this country.
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>> people ought to be allowed to ask why president obama won't produce his birth certificate. >> there are 50% of the voting public who want stuff. they want things. and who is going to give them things? president obama. >> barack obama is a socialist. he believes in confiscating hard-earned dollars. >> four years of that garbage plastering the air waves. and what did they get for it? four more years of president barack obama. joinli i joining me now, secretary of labor. even before she was on the job, no stranger to right wing attacks. now, you're stepping down and you've seen this right wing machine up close. are you going to miss this group? >> you know what, i'm going to
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fight even harder back home and where ever i am, i'm going to be there to support the president's agenda whether it's immigration reform or economic development in our poor communities. coal miners that are suffering and folks in the middle class that have been the target of the tea party and the republican right that doesn't seem to notice that people paf taxes. no matter what, everyone here should be paying their fair share. i don't know why these folks want to defend the very wealthy who haven't paid their fair share. we need fairness. we need a balance. and that's what this is about. i'm so happy the president got reelected and i'm happy that more voices are going to be heard now. >> i must ask you this. in october, before the election, the right came out hard and said the white house was cooking the
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books on unemployment numbers. fox news web site headline was is it real? right wing talk laura said a total pro-obama propaganda. labor forced participation rate at a 30-year low. secretary, let's make some news tonight before you leave. >> you know what, i have no idea what those folks are talking about. i've said it before and i'll say it again. those accusations are ludicrous. the people are very competent, scientific people. they've been working on this for years. we vnt changed any methodology. it remains the same. and i salute those employees that work at the bls because they are premier federal
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employees. numbers don't lie. they said it couldn't be done and this president put back 5.8 million in growth reform. we see growth in construction, man ewe factturing, tourism and even the retail industry. numbers doechbt lie. all i do is report what the bureau of labor statistics gives me. one of the things i've noticed about you, you never seem to let them get you down? how do you maintain this balance? >> i've been very fortunate that my parents raised me in the matter that they did.
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when people try to throw you off, you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off and keep walking. you always hold your head up high. have respected for people. and make sure that whatever you leave behind, you make sure people have a good sense of what your work ethic has been. i'm no different from millions and millions of other americans who have done the hard work. and i expect to continue that. and i know the president will, too. and i'm going to be on the outside, maybe not here in the bubble in washington, but i'll be back home in california doing the work that i believe in. that is fighting for justice, civil rights, equal treatment under this constitution for everyone. >> we hope we will be seeing a lot more than you, and i'm sure we will. thank you for all the hard work you've done for this country the past four years. >> god bless you, too, reverend.
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thank you so much. >> coming up, martin luther king, jr., president obama and the cross roads of history. a powerful story is next. i've been taking a multivitamin for years. centrum silver. both of us actually. our pharmacist recommended it. and that makes me feel pretty good about it. and then i heard about a study looking at multivitamins and the long term health benefits. and what do you know? they used centrum silver in the study. makes me feel even better, that's what i take. sorry, we take.
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[ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. monday will be a day of history. president obama will be inaugurated on martin luther king day, a day that comes 50 years after the march on washington. and 150 years after the emancipation proclamation. the president talked about that legacy in a new video released by the white house. >> two figures that i admire more than anybody in history are dr. king and mr. lincoln. so being sworn in with the bibles of these two men that i admire so deeply, the 50th anniversary of the march on
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washington is, i think, fitting because their actions, the movements they represent, are the only reason that it's possible for me to be inaugurated. as the president said, the actions of lincoln and king made this moment possible. and, today, we heard a new side of dr. king. new york public radio added a previously unreleased interview from 1961 with dr. king talking about his work and his fears. here he is talking about how his mother talked to him about racism at an early age. >> it seems to me that the only thing the mother can do is to try from the beginning to instill in the child some bodiness. this is what my mother tried to do. she made it veryar